At the September 27th meeting of Council, those councilmembers present (Mayor Hinkley and Councilmember Rzeznik excused) voted to approve the restoration of Wixom’s Wire House in an amount not to exceed $54,000. This is great news for those in our community who care about the roots of our city, and Wixom’s past.
According to Ms. Dorchak of the Wixom Historical Society, the Wire House was constructed in 1855 by one of the first settlers in our community. Over the years this home served as home to the pastor of the local church, where funerals of community members were sometimes carried out. The pastor’s name was Reverend Wire, and that is why Wixom knows this house as the “Wire House.” After the Wire Family the house was inhabited by the Tiffin family until the early-1970s, until the owners passed away at the very old ages of 104 and 93. At that time the home still used an outhouse! As the Wixom Historical Society knew, the Wire House has been a Wixom landmark and needing to be saved.
This action by Council comes after a long process carried out by the Wixom Historical Society, and their efforts to raise the funds necessary to carry out the repairs on their own. A number of months ago it became clear to the Historical Society that the foundation of this Wixom artifact were beginning to crumble, and that the house itself was at risk if left without repair. After this realization the Wixom Historical Society contacted a local architect to conduct a full evaluation of the work needed to restore the Wire House, and we surprised to learn that at the time it would cost nearly $25,000. The Wixom Historical Society undertook lengthy efforts to begin raising funds for the necessary repairs, even hosting fundraisers a the Wixom Station restaurant in the downtown area. After many months of hard work raising funds the Historical Society had raised approximately $10,000 toward the repairs.
As the Historical Society worked on their fundraising efforts, the condition of the Wire House continued to deteriorate, to the point that it was advised that no public access be granted creating a truly dire situation for this piece of Wixom history. It was at this time that the city of Wixom realized that extra efforts would be required to save the Wire House, and so Council stepped in to assist the Historical Society by fully restoring the home. The cost of the work approved by Council has grown due to the growing list of work to be completed at the Wire House to reopen the home to the public. Reinforcements will be added in the foundation to re-support the home. Additionally, other interior and exterior work will be carried out to insure that no further structural damage occurs to the home in the near future, thus protecting this Wixom landmark for future generations.
Finally, funds raised by the Wixom Historical Society will now be able to be used for the other important projects and efforts of this group, which really helps to secure the identity and character of our city.